George Mason University students perform Tinikling — a traditional Philippine folk dance — in front of a full house crowd at the Philippine Embassy Open House held on May 4, 2019.

WASHINGTON — More than 10,000 Washingtonians and visitors to the U.S. capital had the chance to experience the Philippines during Passport DC’s Around the World Embassy Tour - Philippine Embassy Open House held in both the Chancery and Chancery Annex buildings of the Philippine Embassy from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 4, 2019.

The Philippine Embassy Open House is one of the biggest cultural projects of the Philippine Embassy every year.

For this year’s participation, the Embassy adopted the theme “Showcasing Filipino Brands with Global Appeal” to highlight the Philippines’ unique products and brands that are making their way into the global market and the U.S. mainstream.

These include Philippine Airlines (PAL), Mama Sita’s, GMA Pinoy TV and PLDT US, who generously supported the Embassy’s participation in the annual event.

Mama Sita’s prepared free servings of caldereta, pancit palabok, and champorado at the Chancery Annex building, while authentic Filipino food, food products, and businesses also set up booths at the Chancery grounds during the event.

Mostra Coffee, an artisan micro-roasting company, served “Ghost Bear” Espresso Blend, a blend featuring a Direct Trade Philippine Coffee and free samples of their cold brews; Gwenie’s Pastries, a Filipino pastry distributor in the DMV area served their delicious Ube Cheesecakes, Ube Custard cakes, Ube Pies, Ube and Pandan cakes; Taste of the Pacific food truck served chicken and pork barbecue, spring rolls, and pancit that definitely catered to visitors’ Filipino food craving; and Marquina Shoemaker, a shoe-making business promoted the rich shoe-making culture of Marikina City, the Shoe Capital of the Philippines.


A long line of visitors anticipate Mama Sita’s free serving of Filipino food at the Chancery Annex building during the Philippine Embassy Open House.

In addition to these products, kids and adults likewise had the opportunity to immerse themselves into traditional Filipino games such as sungka, sipa, jackstones, and turning top, among others, at the Kiddie corner, while the Crafts corner prepared coloring books featuring Jollibee — the mascot of a Filipino fast food restaurant of the same name.

The Tourism booth set up an interactive display of the rich island destinations of the Philippines, complemented with a set of tourism brochures that visitors could take home with them.

The Philippines’ most popular mode of transportation and icon, the Jeepney, was also displayed as a 3D photo booth where visitors could snap their photos and use it as an entry to the Philippine Embassy Open House social media raffle promo with a grand prize of a round-trip ticket to the Philippines courtesy of Philippine Airlines.

Various Metro DC Performing Arts Groups, bands and solo performers showcased world-class Pinoy entertainment through traditional dances and songs that highlighted the cultural diversity and talent of the Philippines and the Filipino people.


Mostra Coffee serves “Ghost Bear” Espresso Blend and free cold brew samples to visitors of the Philippine Embassy Open House.

They are the George Washington Filipino Cultural Association; Tanghalang Pilipino ng Washington DC; Mabuhay Inc.; The Migrant Heritage Commission (MHC); Ilocano Society of America (ISA); Miss Teen Philippines-America; Pinakatay Ultimate Eskrima; The Group International Foundation (TGIF); George Mason University students; Bayanihan Cultural Group; the Undecided Band; Desmond Vicera and Liza Ocampo of The Desmond Vicera Band; Jay Arellano; and Embassy Finance Officer Lourdes Morallos.

“Once again, the Philippine Embassy was able to show the world that it really is more fun in the Philippines through the very much successful Philippine Embassy Open House held last Saturday,” Ambassador Jose Manuel G. Romualdez said.

“The Philippine celebration of National Heritage Month challenges us to take the lead in promoting and preserving our cultural heritage, and we are very happy to do our part in promoting love, awareness and appreciation of our thriving culture and unique brands here in Washington, D.C. I wish to congratulate and thank the Philippine Embassy personnel and their families, our community partners, participants, and supporters, for making this event possible,” the ambassador further added.

Passport DC commemorates International Cultural Awareness Month in the District of Columbia.

It runs from May 1 through 31 and offers an outstanding array of cultural activities presented at embassy open houses, street festivals, performing arts venues, museums, and special receptions throughout the District.


Gwenie’s Pastries’ ube cakes were a hit among Open House visitors and guests.


Philippine ambassador to the U.S. Jose Manuel G. Romualdez checks out Marquina Shoemaker’s booth manned by its co-founder Patrick Kahn.


Kids are having fun at the Crafts and Kiddie corner of the Philippine Embassy Open House.


Consul General Renato Pedro Villa (in blue coat) and Embassy staff Mylo Fausto (in white polo shirt) engage visitors at the Tourism booth.


Visitors “ride” the Jeepney at the Philippine Embassy Open House.


Embassy personnel await their barbecue orders at the Taste of the Pacific food truck.


Ambassador and Madame Romualdez (2nd and 3rd from left), Deputy Chief of Mission Patrick Chuasoto (rightmost), Minister Rosanna Villamor-Voogel (leftmost) pose for a group photo with guests of the Philippine Embassy Open House.

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